The film The Passion of the Christ receives the Saint Anthony prize

Source: FSSPX News


“The prize for the cinema category has been given to a film, The Passion of the Christ, which was able to move our souls, which made us face our responsibility as Christians, which made us enter into the most profound sufferings of God-made-man, which brought us a message of love and hope. Today once again, this message deserves to be announced to the entire world”, declared Msgr. John Foley, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications during the ceremony that announced the winner, November 24.

The international St. Anthony prize is a means of recognition for the work of those involved in the film and television industries. “Movies and television accompany our daily lives. That’s why it’s important to be able to count on quality products”, Msgr. Foley added. “We can’t forget that young people constitute a large part of the public and that, very often, their role models are drawn from movies and television”.

“We need to see that respect for life and for others still exists, we need to see affirmation of the idea that eternal and universal values should be at the basis of each culture and religious confession”, he said.

The international St. Anthony prize was created in 1998 by the Franciscan review Il Messagero di Sant’Antonio (The Saint Anthony Messenger) on the occasion of the centenary of this review, which is published in eight languages. This prize rewards works and people who are inspired by the ideals and the example of the saints. Given twice per year, it has four categories: witness, solidarity, film and television.

As for the eighth edition of the Third Millennium Festival of Spiritual Cinema, which takes place each year at the Vatican, it will be held from the 14th to the 19th of December on the theme of the relations between man and machine in post-modern film. Films like 2001, A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick (1968), Artificial Intelligence by Steven Spielberg (2001) or I, Robot by Alex Proyas (2004) are some of the fifteen films to be screened during the festival.

“The process of hybridization has already begun (…) and we must become aware of our responsibility in such an evolution”, affirmed Msgr. Foley, during the press announcement for the festival, and underscore the contemporary development of “an artificial intelligence wedded to human intelligence”. However, he added, identity and conscience will continue, in the future, to be human qualities for which there is no substitute. For Msgr. Foley, films, which deal with these subjects, “are not simply a diversion, but a moment of reflection permitting us to look into the future”.